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Regaining Control of a Wandering Business

By: David Suzuki
Posted: June 11, 2008, from the November 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 4 of 5

There is no steadfast rule of thumb regarding the correct rate of delegation, as every business—and owner—is very unique. However, industry experts note that the best way to gradually integrate support into your small business is through part-time and/or contract team members. Certain aspects of your spa, such as accounting, inherently are very similar to that of most small businesses and easily can be contracted out, along with weekly or monthly cleaning duties. Other tasks that may take up to two or three hours of your day usually can be handed off to a part-time team member.

Contract and part-time work generally is less personal and permanent. Because of this, many businesses feel more comfortable utilizing this kind of assistance because it enables them to have more control and selection without the commitment of hiring a full-time team member.

Infrastructure

As you continue doing whatever it takes to keep paying the bills, you become a master of improvisation. Each task and responsibility is an experience that includes a learning curve, as well as an evolution of trial and error that is contained in one central location: your mind. If you have resigned yourself to the idea that you no longer can run your business by yourself—which, in itself, is a major accomplishment—you now face the challenge of finding a team member who not only is hardworking, but also reads minds!

SOPs should be created for every task performed within your business, regardless of how complex or how simple it is. Well-written SOPs allow for expeditious training of new team members in a focused fashion, as well as provide your business with the agility needed for multiple team members with different skill sets to carry out all tasks at an acceptable level. SOPs also serve as the foundation or infrastructure on which a strong company is built and give a spa the strength to withstand team member turnover.

Baby steps

Realizing that perpetual change is a necessary attribute of every small business is only half the battle. Implementing it is equally as challenging, if not more so. How many times have you discussed adopting healthier eating habits, participating in a better exercise routine, or spending more time with your family and friends without actually putting those changes into place?